Ian and Heather Brand founded I Brand Family Wines in Central Coast California in 2008. Ian’s first winery job was with Bonny Doon Winery; he then went to work for Big Basin Vineyards for four years before he and Heather decided to begin their own project. I Brand uses organic and sustainable farming practices, annually producing 11,000 cases from 20+ year old vines. Ian devotes much time to selecting vineyard sites with shallow, rocky soils and proper varietal match with soil and climate in the often-overlooked Monterey Bay area, which has a plethora of underappreciated vineyards:
- I Brand picks Petite Syrah from two blocks in the Y Ranch section of Pierce Vineyard in the San Antonio Valley. Block 1 is on a west facing rocky hillside comprised of large chunks of white limestone. Block 3 faces southeast on a slope with decomposed granite.
- Their portion of Spur Ranch Vineyard in the Benito Valley is situated on a 1000-foot elevation on a 15 degree south facing slope on the southern side of Chalone Peak with high calcareous content clay over mica schist substrate.
- Cedar Lane Vineyard is on a mesa over the river and is well protected from Salinas Valley breezes. The Arroyo Seco appellation is comprised mostly of alluvial deposits from the Ventana Range.
- La Belle Rose Vineyard is one of the most northernly Salinas Valley Vineyards. The Chardonnay block is a geologically distinct iron rich granite formation with limestone deposits, found tucked up against the base of Jack’s Hill.
I Brand strives to produce wines filed with character from remote, rough around the edges vineyards with minimal interference in order to allow their wine’s idiosyncrasies shine.